I can’t say I was expecting a news release from Hargrave Military Academy on Friday, but I wasn’t shocked.
Hargrave announced that it is disbanding its postgraduate football program, which has produced a host of Division I football recruits, more than a few of whom have gone on to the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks (Virginia) and Kansas City Chiefs teammates Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech) and Branden Albert (UVa) are some of the more notable products in recent years.
Flowers played in the same Tech secondary as another Hargrave product, safety D.J. Parker.
“The landscape for postgraduate athletes and football programs has changed,” Hargrave said in a news release.
“This includes colleges’ desire to have their student-athletes on campus by spring semester, NCAA changes and restrictions on colleges hosting postgraduate football teams on their campuses, and eliminating competitition with the college junior-varsity teams.”
Hargrave’s post-graduate basketball program remains intact.
Fork Union post-graduate coach John Shuman, whose teams have been playing Hargrave twice each fall, has spoken repeatedly over the years about the difficulty in keeping players past the first semester if they have met NCAA eligibility requirements.
Students are required to sign contracts but don’t always honor them.
“So, the big Military Bowl is over,” said Shuman of his annual skirmishes with Hargrave. “It’s interesting. I’m sad. People don’t understand the rivalry and competitiveness. I’m really sad that Hargrave’s bailing out.
“It is sickening. I definitely think the PG year is worthwhile, i.e., [Tech signee] Jonathan McLaughlin [from Fork Union]. When you do it right, it’s a worthwhile situation. [UVa signee] Tyrell Chavis is a different kid for sticking it out.
“We definitely feel that you can’t evaluate a kid on 15 days of spring ball [at college] and that they’re better served to stay at our place and grind it out.”.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE, facing a depleted roster after the loss of three prominent underclassmen, has signed Desmond Lee, a 6-4 guard from Booker T. Washington High School, by way of New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M.
After his senior year at Booker T. Washington, Lee surfaced at the Heat Academy in Martinsville, where he averaged 16 points and four assists for a team that finished 36-4. Only a partial qualifier coming out of high school, Lee averaged 20.3 points and 5.2 rebounds this season in junior college.
Lee contributed 23 points and 11 rebounds in an 88-87 overtime loss to eventual champion Northwest Florida State in the National Junior College Association tournament.
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY also found Georgia Tech taking a men’s basketball commitment from Travis Jorgensen, a 6-foot guard from Columbia, Mo., by way of New Hampton (N.H..) Prep.
New Hampton is the alma mater of Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan, the 2012-2013 ACC rookie of the year. Jorgensen and Virginia walk-on Justin Miller once played in the same backcourt at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia.
And, now I find out that Miller announced yesterday on Twitter that he is transferring back to Missouri, which he attended as a student as a freshman in 2011-2012. Miller never played for the Cavaliers but did undergo the latest in a series of foot operations.
Like Miller, Jorgensen had injury problems at Rock Bridge, missing half of the 2011-2012 season – his junior year – following thumb surgery.
WHILE TRYING to update a list of the 2013 Division I football signees from Virginia, I came across the name of 6-4, 248 offensive lineman Alex Hague from Benedictine School in Richmond, who has accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy.
Hague is one of 53 in-state players who are headed to Football Bowl Subdivision (previously Division I-A) schools on scholarship. That’s slightly up from 48 in 2012 but way down from a high of 67 in 2009, when UVa and Virginia Tech had a combined 31 in-state signees.
One of the new additions to the 2013 list is Kwamane Bowens, a 6-2, 185-pound wide receiver from Salem High School in Virginia. Bowens was rated one of the top 10 prospects in the state as a junior but dropped to No. 46 on the final list because of non-football reasons that limited his recruiting.
He signed with Hawaii several weeks after the letter-of-intent day in February.
Bowens, a second-team All-Tidewater choice, was a prime target of Salem High quarterback and Virginia Tech signee Bucky Hodges.